In case you haven’t noticed, the Kentucky football staff has really started hitting the areas north of the Bluegrass State this year in recruiting. What once seemed like the forbidden territories of Indiana, Ohio, and New Jersey have or are becoming major stops on the recruiting trail in addition to the always talent rich states of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama. After my post on roster attrition (HERE), I decided I wanted to dive a little deeper into Kentucky’s recruiting history by the states. Keep in mind that all prospect rating references are based on Rivals’ analysis of players. This is a relatively long piece, but bear with me.
Chapter I: Past Efforts
Looking back to the 2009 class, Kentucky has signed 105 players from 13 different states. While not all of them made it to campus or stuck around once they got to Lexington, the breakdown was pretty startling. Keep in mind that I’m only considering recruited, scholarship signees here.
Kentucky: 18 Georgia: 28 Tennessee: 10 Florida: 9
South Carolina: 9 Alabama: 6 Indiana: 6 Ohio: 5
Louisiana: 5 California: 4 Texas: 3 Maryland: 1
So over the past four signing classes, 70% of the players that have signed their letter of intent with Kentucky have been in-state recruits or from Georgia, South Carolina, Florida or Tennessee. The Wildcats have certainly recruited other areas to limited or no success also though. The states of North Carolina, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana and Ohio have been regular stops for the staff for years, but only Ohio and Louisiana have seen more than one player sign with UK. The efforts in California have been almost exclusively in the junior college circuit there, and Maxwell Smith remains the only high school player Kentucky has signed from the state for over ten years and even he was an extenuating circumstance. Florida is also slightly misleading. While the state ties with South Carolina for the fourth most signees in the past four classes, The UK staff has spent a ton of their recruiting time and budget in the state and have struck out more often than not. The bottom line is that the bulk of the roster and most of Kentucky’s best players typically come from Georgia and Kentucky, with a couple of Tennesseans slid in.